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Diplomacy check to use Connected feat to obtain a favor from the Rhodes Foundation: 19.

That's a bit less than the 20-25 range I was going for, so The Scarab spends her lone Hero Point for this story to secure the favor automatically.

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When posting your responses, feel free to break my posts up into chunks and respond to each piece individually. That's what I usually do.

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I probably won't (a least, not using quote blocks), simply because it could get cluttered with the Shoulder Daemons. Hopefully my last post was clear enough, though.

Something that could possibly go without saying, but I'm saying it anyway just to be perfectly on the up-and-up: Doc's got his Mind switched to "Wining and Dining" mode, with this Enhanced Charisma active. Which means his Int, Wis, and Cha are all 20/+5.

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Mind Reading check: 27.

She's just scanning surface thoughts to enable telepathic communication. If he makes a concerted effort to keep her out, she'll break the link.

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Just to be clear, was

And if anything ever happens to her, they won't find enough pieces of the culprits to identify the bodies.

sent across to him, or just kept in her own mind?

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It slips through. It was the telepathic equivalent of absent-minded mumbling. It's unclear to Archeville whether it slipped through intentionally or not.

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Carbamazepine: used primarily to treat seizures. It is also used to for trigeminal neuralgia and to prevent migraines. A common off-label use is to treat bipolar disorder.

Clonazepam: an anti-anxiety agent and sedative. It is a benzodiazepine, the same class as Valium.

Fluoxetine: better known as Prozac, an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication.

Lithium Carbonate: used to treat mood disorders such as mania and bipolar disorder.

All info courtesy of Polite Dissent.

Though with Doc's half-Immunity to drugs/poisons -- not to mention the pseudonatural nature of his ailments -- those don't actually do much good. On the upside, they don't give him "cotton-brain," either.

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You didn't think this thread would be all character development, did you? 8-)

I'm assuming Doctor Archeville has all of his Devices on his person. And thanks to the privacy screens, he has cover from the bad guys during the surprise round. After that, the screens will probably draw more attention than it hides.

Stealth checks for the Power Corps: 15, 8, 16, 25.

I'll apply the -5 "listening through a door" penalty for listening through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and another few -1s for distance.

Doc, make a DC18 Notice check to hear them coming and/or see them at the last second, and roll Initiative. If you make the Notice check, you're not Surprised and can act during the Surprise round.

Initiative for The Bad Guys:

#2: 19

#4: 23

#6: 15

#8: 20

The Scarab's Danger Sense gives her a DC15 Notice check to avoid Surprise and act normally during the Surprise round.

Notice check: 32.

Initiative for The Scarab: 18.

So right now, the combat order is:

Power Corps #4

Power Corps #8

Power Corps #2

The Scarab

Power Corps #6

For the purposes of this thread, #2 (the field commander) will be treated as a proper Villain, and the rest will be considered Minions. #2 differs from her companions mechanically only in that she has WIS 14 instead of 12, for a Will Save of +5 instead of +4.

The Power Corps spend the surprise round busting in the windows, flying in, and delivering the standard armed robbery speech as they start bagging up the wallets, purses, and jewelry.

The Scarab activates her Concealment, Flight, and Force Field. Then she moves away from her table, and activates the Quick Change on her costume. Three Free Actions, one Move Action, and one more Free Action.

The Power Corps are pictured and described on page 175 of Freedom City 2E.

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You didn't think this thread would be all character development, did you? 8-)

I kinda did... but since Doc has, in my year of playing him here, only been in three combats (not including the verbal sparring match he's currently in with Captain K after Knievel crashed his second HIT lecture), this is good, too ;)

Doc's Mind is set to Enhanced Cha, so his Notice is +10.

Notice check = 26!

And his Initiative is... a respectable 18.

Which ties with Scarab. I believe the protocol for ties is to have the char with the higher Initiative modifier go first. Which would be Scarab.

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Well, then I'm glad I was able to surprise you.

Scarab basically already went, with those actions I described. Archeville can perform one Standard or Move Action, and as many Free Actions and Reactions as he wants, then the surprise round is over and normal combat begins.

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New Initiative Order:

So right now, the combat order is:

Power Corps #4 (23)

Power Corps #8 (20)

Power Corps #2 (19)

The Scarab (18)

Doctor Archeville (18)

Power Corps #6 (15)

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Free action to shriek like a French maid.

Free Action to switch on Concealment (all auditory, radio and visual; PF: Close Range; Flaw: Blending) & Force Field/Immunities (total Toughness +12, Impervious 4; Knockback -8).

Move Action to move so he's within 15 feet of the closest crook.

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Scarab has the higher modifier? Oh wow. For some reason, I could have sworn that Archeville had Speed of Thought too. But looking at his character sheet...nope, guess not.

#4 pushes his way through the crowd to the privacy screens where he heard the yelling, and tears them aside, revealing...nothing.

#8 takes a Standard Action to initiate a Grapple with The Old Soldier. Assuming the old guy was around PL3-4 during active duty and a small STR penalty due to age, I'm eyeballing his total Grapple score around +2-3. Even with a natural 20, he's not beating a Power Corps agent with a Grapple bonus of +24. So I'm not even rolling it - #8 wins, and chooses "lift & throw" as the result. He then takes a Move Action to throw The Old Soldier toward the window.* With an effective lifting STR of 48, it's well within his range.

#2 takes a Standard Action to use her armor's Blast power on The Army Wife. That's a DC24 Toughness save. The Army Wife couldn't hope to make that even with a natural 20. #2 consciously decides to stop her damage short of Staggered/Stunned - she wants The Army Wife to be awake when she sees her husband get tossed out the window. The Army Wife is a PL0 bystander, so In favor of rolling the save, I'm going to fiat to say that #2 hit, and that The Army Wife is now Bruised, Staggered, and Stunned for a round.

The Scarab takes a Free Action to Communicate with Archeville, another Free Action to change up her Array, a Standard Action to pick up the table with Telekinesis, and a Move Action to throw it at #2. As The Scarab is coming fresh out of Total Concealment, this counts as a Surprise Attack, and #2 does not get her Dodge bonus to Defense.

The Scarab rolls a 24, which easily beats #2's flat-footed Defense of 14 (and makes me wish I had purchased the Power Attack feat). #2 gets an 18 on her DC27 Toughness save, failing by 9. She's Bruised, Stunned for 1 round, and knocked back. The Scarab's damage (12) - #2's KB resistance (9) = 3, yielding a knockback distance of 5 feet. Not far enough to hit an obstacle, so she just falls prone 5 feet away.

*Pages 36 and 157 of M&M2E describe Throwing, and Throwing in the context of a Grapple.

Your move, Doc.

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Nope, he doesn't have it yet, but he will soon. Not this month (I'm focusing on Interaction skills/feats with the next allotment of pps), but maybe next.

Part of Move Action to zip towards the Old Man (can move 2,500 feet with Flight).

Standard action to catch him (assuming a 14 hits; I don't think we'd be using the rules on p.168 of M&M2E re: catching falling object since those seem to apply to catchers on the ground, not catchers actively pursuing the falling target, though I leave it up to you). Free Action to de-cloak.

Remainder of Move Action -- thanks to Move-By Action power feat -- to carry Old Soldier gently down on ground. Free Action to ask if he's alright & ask him to call the police, and salute.

And now I need to read up on the Disable Device skill. And Illusion, Nullify, and Obscure.

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#6 takes a Standard Action to fire a Blast at The Scarab. Her Defense is 20. He gets 13. Apparently #6 graduated from the Imperial Storm Trooper Marksmanship Academy.

Then he takes a Move Action to move adjacent to #4.

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Doctor Archeville gets a Hero Point for his heroic rescue and courteous treatment of The Old Soldier.

Round 2

Power Corps #4 (23)

Power Corps #8 (20)

Power Corps #2 (19) (Bruised, Stunned)

The Scarab (18)

Doctor Archeville (18)

Power Corps #6 (15)

#4 will Delay his action down to 15, to act in concert with #6. On 15, assuming Archeville doesn't interfere, they plan to Charge The Scarab together. One will Aid with his Teamwork feat while the other strikes the actual blow.

#8 will turn around and fire a Blast at The Scarab. Her Defense is 20. He rolls 28. Much better. The Scarab needs to make a DC24 Toughness save. She rolls 19. She fails by 5. She's Bruised and Stunned. She has no Hero Points left, so she can't shake it off.

The Scarab gets a Hero Point for the setback.

Now, when #4 and #6 Charge her, they'll be Power Attacking.

#2 will lay down on the ground being Stunned.

The Scarab will do nothing, since she's Stunned. She rolls Concentration checks to maintain her Sustained effects as Reactions. Flight is DC13. She can't fail. Force Field is DC22. She gets 33.

Your move, Doc.

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Doctor Archeville gets a Hero Point for his heroic rescue and courteous treatment of The Old Soldier.

Huzzah! So I'm at 4 HP now.

(02:12:34) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) Pyramid Plaza is officially 90 stories tall. 97 if you include mechanical levels and mezzanines. Pharos is on the top floor of Building 2. The towers are 1,260 feet tall (10ft taller than the Empire State Building).

(02:13:13) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) Floor-to-floor height is 13ft

Part of Move Action to get back up to Pharos, to the broken window.

Free Action (about halfway up) to re-cloak, i.e. switch on Concealment (all auditory, radio and visual; PF: Close Range; Flaw: Blending) & Force Field/Immunities (total Toughness +12, Impervious 4; Knockback -8).

Standard Action once at the window to reconfigure Electromagnetic Screwdriver to generate a low-level radio-frequency burst:

Dazzle 4 (radio; Extra: 40-ft. Explosion; Flaw: Range/Touch; PF: Subtle)

Which should knock out any radio-based Communication and Super-Senses.

Remainder of Move Action to move into Pharos, moving so he's over #2.

Extra Effort for Surge to gain another Standard action. HP to negate fatigue (down to 3 now).

Standard Action to activate Dazzle effect.

DC 14 for any within 10 feet of Doc, DC 13 for any within 15-20 feet, DC 12 for any within 25-30 feet, DC 11 for any within 35-40 feet.

He's hoping that the Dazzle will so throw the Power Corps that the charging ones will miss. Or, at the very least, fry their leader's communication/coordination ability.

And for future reference:

(03:24:07) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) alright, one more question. The Disable Technology use for Disable Device -- can that be used on powered armor? To, say, disable a gauntlet-mounted blaster? If so, would the subject need to be helpless first (as is the case if trying to disable technological creatures like androids or robots), or can it be done without rendering them helpless first (though perhaps only as a surprise attack)? Assuming it could be done as a full round action ("intricate or complex devices require multiple rounds," but Doc's mental quickness may apply)

(03:29:39) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) Are you talking about using Datalink to remotely shut them down, or using some kind of Telekinesis to actually take them apart?

(03:30:15) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) No, I'm talking about the Disable Device skill.

(03:31:06) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) I know. But the PCs aren't just going to stand there and let you tinker with their suits. I assumed you had some other means in mind.

(03:32:13) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) I'd say that, if you've got some kind of Datalink or Machine Control or something like that up your sleeve, you can make a Disable Device check to try to "Disable Tech." But otherwise, no, a guy wearing power armor would be like a robot - they'd have to be Helpless.

(03:32:37) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) well, not so much tinerking as just prying off access panels and tearing out wires. But, yeah, Datalink/MAchine Control would certainly help.

(03:33:29) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) that sounds fine

(03:34:09) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) If he's got a way of doing it remotely / at range (which I'm sure he can whip up with his Not A Sonic Screwdriver), yeah, I'll allow it. It's cool.

(03:36:36) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) I'd say power armor definitely counts as a "complex device." You planning on spreading it out over multiple rounds, or trying to do it in one?

(03:38:14) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) one if possible, though I wasn't entirely sure Doc's Mental Quicknes would apply. Yes, Disable Device is a mental (Int) skill, but it also involves physical stuff.

(03:39:13) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) Nevermind. It's DC30. Assuming your maxed-out Disable Device of +27 and Skill Mastery, if you Take 10, you can auto-pass, but it'll take a couple rounds. If you try to do it in one round, the DC jumps to 50, and you'd need to roll a 23 to pass.

(03:39:20) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) DOH! Forgot Mental Quickness

(03:41:15) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) Technically, the only functions of Disable Device that allow taking 20 are opening locks and disabling security devices. But I'll go ahead and allow it for this particular use, if you pop that Hero Point I just gave you.

(03:41:54) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) You pop a hero point, I'll let you use Mental Quickness on this use of Disable Tech, and you can use Skill Mastery to autmoatically shut down their armor in one round.

(03:42:02) ShaenTheBrain: (whispers) This is gonna be awesome

(03:42:14) Dr_Archeville: (whispers to ShaenTheBrain) d'oh, that's right, I completely forgot the "Take20" part for Quickness!

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Round 2, Continued

The Power Corps armor has Radio Communication and Super-Senses (Radio). Since the powers originate from the armor, not the operators, and inanimate objects don't get Fortitude Saves, I'm going to rule that the armor's Radio abilities automatically suffer the full effect of the Dazzle, and the effect persists until the armor is repaired.

I'm going to rule that the loss of all their Radio-based abilities causes the Power Corps a -2 circumstance penalty to any actions involving group coordination or group tactics, and denies them access to their Teamwork feats.

On Initiative 15, #4 and #6 Charge toward The Scarab. Their aforementioned -2 circumstance penalty negates their +2 attack bonus from Charging.

The Scarab is Stunned. She loses her dodge bonus, reducing her effective Defense from +10 to +2. She also suffers an additional -2 Defense penalty, reducing her effective Defense to +0. Hitting her is DC10.

#4 will initiate the actual attack, while #6 will Aid him.

#6 makes his Aid attack roll: 17. More than enough to beat DC10. #6 chooses to give #4 +2 Attack vs. The Scarab.

#4 uses his Power Attack feat to give himself -5 Attack and +5 Damage. He now effectively has +8 Attack and +14 Damage. He will then make an unarmed attack against The Scarab. Any roll above a "1" hits. He gets a 25.

The Scarab maintained her Force Field, so she's at Toughness +12. She needs to make a DC29 Toughness save. She gets a NATURAL 20!!!

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Round 3

Power Corps #8 (20)

Power Corps #2 (19) (Bruised)

The Scarab (18) (Bruised)

Doctor Archeville (18)

Power Corps #4 (15)

Power Corps #6 (15)

On Initiative 20, #8 will Delay down to Initiative 15.

#2 takes a Move Action to stand up, and a Free Action to speak. She will then Delay down to Initiative 15, when all Power Corps members will initiate a Combined Attack against The Scarab. Everyone has the same Damage bonus, so everyone's hits will contribute.

On 18, The Scarab will use her Telekinesis to initiate a grapple against #8. His Defense is +9, so she needs a 19 to hit. She gets a 15. She will spend her new Hero Point to re-roll. She rolls a 2, which thanks to the Hero Point rules becomes a 12, for a total of 22. She hits.

EDIT: I just remembered that characters can Take 10 on attack rolls against Minions. She auto-hits, and still has her Hero Point.

The Scarab and #8 make an opposed Grapple check. #8 rolls a 1 (whew!) for a result of 25. The Scarab gets 29. She chooses "Throw" as the result of the grapple, and tosses #8 at #4. #4's Defense is also +9 (19), and he's also a Minion, so she Takes 10 (for 20) and hits automatically.

#8 and #4 both have to make a DC27 Toughness save (Telekinesis Rank 12 = "effective STR bonus"). #8 gets a 19. He fails by 8, and 8>5, so he's knocked back. As with #2 earlier, the Knockback result is only enough to send him flying 5ft backward, where he falls prone. #4 gets a 26. They both fail, and as they are Minions, it doesn't matter how much they fail by. They are rendered Unconscious.

Archeville is up.

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So #4 & #8 are Unconscious, but #2 and #6 are still up, and #6 is treated as a Minion, right?

And #2 didn't move, so he's still atop her.

Standard Action to reconfigure electromagnetic Screwdriver:

Strike 14 (amazingly intense circuitry feedback; Flaws: Action/Full Round, Limited/Only to Battlesuit or Cyborg characters with electrical systems)

(I could go to 15, since the cost is 3 ranks per 1pp, but Doc's trade-offs are limited to +2 Damage/Effect.)

Extra Effort to surge to gain another standard action (and an HP [down to 2 now] to negate fatigue).

Full Round action to slam that spike into #2's access port.

She's not a Minion, so can't take 10. But he is attacking from Concealment (visual, auditory and radio), so she should be flat-footed vs. this attack.

Or he would, if he didn't miss....

Right, another HP (down to 1 now) to re-roll. Minimum I can get on the die is 11, which'd mean a minimum total of 19, so he hits.

Toughness save (1d20+11 vs. DC 29) = 29 dammit!

Working on IC post.

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So #4 & #8 are Unconscious, but #2 and #6 are still up, and #6 is treated as a Minion, right?

And #2 didn't move, so he's still atop her.

Correct on all counts.

Toughness save (1d20+11 vs. DC 29) = 29 dammit!

I'm the GM for this thread. I'll roll the NPC saves, thank-you-very-much. :D

#2's Toughness Save vs DC29: 18. She fails by 11, and is Bruised, Staggered, and Stunned.

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